Montana anglers must purchase aquatic invasive species pass

Montana anglers must purchase aquatic invasive species pass

Source: KTVH
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By MTN News

HELENA – Anglers in Montana will need to purchase an aquatic invasive species prevention pass following legislation signed by Gov. Steve Bullock.

On Thursday, Bullock signed the Senate Bill 363 that requires all anglers to purchase the Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Pass. This includes those who have already purchased a fishing license.

The pass will be required starting Friday. The cost is $2 for residents and $15 for nonresidents. The cost will provide significant funding towards preventing the spread of invasive species in Montana waters. The AIS Prevention Pass is anticipated to generate about $3.2 million in revenue per year.

You can pick up a pass at any Fish, Wildlife and Parks license provider or online.

“We know this will be an inconvenience for some anglers, but protecting the health of our waterways is critical,” said FWP director Martha Williams. “The AIS program we have in place is our best chance at keeping mussels from spreading to other Montana waters and at keeping other invasive species from

Last fall aquatic invasive mussel larvae were discovered in water samples from Tiber Reservoir and a sample from Canyon Ferry Reservoir also turned up suspect for the mussel larvae.

In response, Gov. Steve Bullock declared a natural resources emergency in November and an interagency incident command team was set to coordinate the response to the detection.

The resulting response plan includes increasing the number of inspection stations around the state, operating decontamination stations at both Tiber and Canyon Ferry Reservoir, an expanded public education and outreach effort, and doubling the water sampling efforts for mussel larvae around Montana.